Listen to Austin 360 Radio

March into spring with these fun festivals

Mauri Elbel Special to the American-Statesman
Dallas Blooms is a fun spring festival. [Contributed by the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens]

March brings festivals celebrating everything from St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras to rodeos and rattlesnakes. Here are a dozen of the top festivals in Texas worth traveling for this month. 


Now-March 5: The 108th celebration of Mardi Gras Galveston is a two-week-long event featuring more than 30 concerts with headliner performances from Pat Green and Jason Cassidy, 22 parades, 20 balcony parties, elegant balls, heaps of family fun and more than 3 million beads. More at


Now-April 8: Soak in spring at one of the country’s leading spring festivals — Dallas Blooms: A World of Flowers at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. The floral festival features an explosion of color from more than 500,000 spring-blooming blossoms, thousands of azaleas and hundreds of Japanese cherry trees. This month, don’t miss events including the third annual Food and Wine Festival, high tea experiences in the historic DeGolyer House, an Around the World Cooking Class series and Dr. Seuss Weekend in the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. More at

March 8-10: The 37th annual North Texas Irish Festival, taking place in Fair Park, is one of the country’s largest Irish festivals. Expect live Irish music, food and dancing, Celtic myth storytellers, sheep herding, whiskey tasting and the first annual NTIF Fun Run at this family-friendly celebration of Celtic Culture. Admission is free on Friday from 6 to 7 p.m.; $10 after. A one-day ticket is $20 Saturday and $15 Sunday. A two-day ticket is $25, and a weekend pass is $30. Free for children 11 and under and $5 off for seniors or current military members. More at


Feb. 25-March 17: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the world’s largest livestock show and rodeo, attracts more than 2.5 million visitors annually with its family-friendly experiences spanning calf scrambles, horse shows, a carnival, rodeo competitions and nightly concerts from performers including Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley and George Strait. General admission, which includes admission to NRG Park but not to NRG stadium for the rodeo and concert performance, is $15 for adults (13 and over), $5 for children 3 to 12 and free for 2 and under. For just $5 more, get access to the grounds plus the rodeo and concert. More at

San Antonio

March 2: The Mardi Gras River Parade & Festival will feature a procession of decorated river floats that transform the River Walk into a floating Mardi Gras celebration with krewes of costumed revelers, live music and entertainment and more. Dress up in your masks, costumes and beads and head to this free festival taking place around the 2.5-mile downtown area of the Riverwalk. Stay overnight at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio, the official hotel of Mardi Gras weekend, offering special accommodations and amenities for Mardi Gras-goers. More at


March 7-10: For a shell of a good time, head to the 40th annual Fulton Oysterfest. The Fulton Volunteer Fire Department sponsors this yearly event as a salute to the tasty bivalve found in local Gulf waters. Located along the waterfront on the Fulton Festival Grounds, expect everything from oyster eating and oyster shucking contests to carnival rides, games, food, live music and more. Gate admission is $2 Thursday and $5 per person for those 12 and over Friday through Sunday. More at


March 8-10: The World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup takes place in Sweetwater at the Nolan County Coliseum, where highlights range from guided snake hunts and snake eating contests to a Miss Snake Charmer pageant, rattlesnake parade and carnival. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 5-12 and free for 4 and under. More at


March 15-16: The World’s Only St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade & Palooza unfolds in the official Pickle Capital of Texas. This free two-day, family-friendly event features a pickle parade, pet and baby parades, keg races, pickle runs, pickle queens, music, food and fun that benefits local charities. More at


March 15-17: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day deep in the heart of Shamrock, home of the official St. Patrick’s celebration for the state of Texas. At the 73rd annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, expect a parade, a two-day Ranch Rodeo, a Miss Irish Rose scholarship pageant, a Lad n’ Lassie pageant, live concerts with Parker McCollum and Kolby Cooper, and more Irish-themed fun. More at


March 15-18: Llano Earth Art Fest, taking place in Grenwelge Park, features art, music, food, crafts and stacks of rocks. On the banks of the Llano River, watch internationally renowned artists defy gravity with incredibly balanced rock sculptures, listen to talented musicians or compete in the 2019 World Rock Stacking Championships. Kids can look forward to a climbing wall, face-painting and a slew of activities. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate and free for kids 15 and under. More at


March 22-23: The Outlaws & Legends Music Festival is the biggest one-stage event in Texas. Featuring more acts on one stage in two days than any other fest in Texas, festivalgoers can look forward to entertainers including Roger Creager, Shooter Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and more. General admission is $45, and proceeds support the Ben Richey Boys Ranch & Family Program. More at

Dripping Springs

March 30-31: Celebrate the night at the Texas Night Sky Festival, a free celebration of the starlit skies of Texas that’s held every other year in Dripping Springs, the first International Dark Sky Community in Texas. Enjoy solar observations, three planetariums, Dark Sky & Midnight Defender patch programs, exhibits from Texas Dark Sky places, demonstrations of smart lighting, a silent auction, tasty food, live music, yoga under the stars, night sky photo tips, an old-fashioned Star Party, storytellers, a Night Sky Advocates Workshop and more. More at

ALSO IN TRAVEL: Pitch a tent at these 7 state parks